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E-News graphic, Latest Edition/Volume 1 - Number 4 October 2002 - Photos representing working women - Digital ImageryŠ copyright 2001 PhotoDisc, Inc.

"The Voice of Working Women"
Reinvesting in our Nation's Nurses

Picture of President George W. Bush on Thursday, August 1, 2002 signing the Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002 in the Oval Office.President Bush signing the Nurse Reinvestment Act

A shortage of nurses in the workforce has prompted action by the Bush Administration to help promote this critically important healthcare profession. The Nurse Reinvestment Act, signed on August 1, 2002 by President George W. Bush, authorizes scholarship and loan repayment opportunities for nursing students.

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Secretary Chao has responded to the crisis by issuing a "call to care" to inspire young people to pursue nursing as a career, and initiating efforts between the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (DED) to identify ways to jointly address the nursing shortage facing the nation.

The numbers say it all. Today employers are already facing difficulty in filling positions for registered nurses. According to the American Hospital Association there are currently 126,000 nursing positions unfilled in hospitals across the country. If this shortage of nurses continues, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be about one million new job openings for registered nurses by 2010.

This Nurse Reinvestment Act will build upon work that is already underway by the federal government.

DOL and HHS are creating a nursing career ladder pilot program that will link Job Corps to nurses aid apprenticeships, community colleges, vocational and professional nursing education programs.

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor launched which is an on-line job bank dedicated to nursing careers in long-term care, which we created through a cooperative effort with the American Health Care Association and American Homes and Services for the Aging. You may have seen American Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jimmy Shea talking about the "call to care" and promoting through Public Service Announcements.

In addition, a $10 million nursing scholarship program has been established -- the result of a partnership between the Department and the health care company, HCA.

Secretary Elaine L. Chao visiting the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 18, 2002.Secretary Elaine L. Chao promoted careers in nursing during a visit to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles last month. She also visited the Guatemalan twins who were surgically separated in August and the nurses who cared for them.

The Bush Administration is committed to finding ways to address the nursing shortage. The Women's Bureau has placed a special focus on the nursing shortage issue as well, as part of its "Strengthening the Family" agenda.

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For More Information About WB, Contact:
U.S. Department of Labor
Women's Bureau
200 Constitution Avenue, NW - Room S-3002
Washington, DC 20210
Telephone 1-800-827-5335 or (202) 693-6710
Fax (202) 693-6725